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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Should I expose my 7 month of DS to chickenpox

(89 Posts)
Gumgardener321 Mon 20-May-13 19:04:08

My nephew has chickenpox and wondering if I should expose my DS to him in the hope of him catching them. I've heard it's best for children to have chicken pox early but this early?
Any advice will be appreciated

twofalls Tue 21-May-13 03:06:23

Oh, gussie how awful. Dd2 (3) had it so bad dd1 stopped counting at 120 spots and only got to her shoulders. It was truly awful but obviously not like your dd. you both have my sympathies. My mum was in tears when she saw my dd. I wish more people knew how serious this could be.

TwasBrillig Tue 21-May-13 04:00:48

Wondering now about paying for the vaccine after reading this. I have a 4 year old and 1 year old. Does the vaccine work immediately or only after the 3 years?

We've not got tons of money but I'm quite freaked about them getting it.

lljkk Tue 21-May-13 04:20:11

Back to OP, I would expose him in a heartbeat if he were mine, would be be delightful to be able to plan when & where my child got this over with. Alternative is vaccination, if you can figure out how to get the jab.

DD had CP at 15 weeks & has proven immune in many subsequent outbreaks. DD was fine with it, btw, just didn't sleep so well for a few nights.

StupidFlanders Tue 21-May-13 04:40:07

The vaccine takes up to 3 weeks to kick in. It's free in aus at 18 months, I must live in a high take up area because despite working with children I only heard of my first case in over 10 years.

hazeyjane Tue 21-May-13 05:09:12

Ds has been vaccinated against cp, it is 3 weeks between jabs, not 3 years.

TwasBrillig Tue 21-May-13 06:36:51

Where do I go to get a private vaccine?

WorrySighWorrySigh Tue 21-May-13 07:09:38

Reading this thread you can see the problem for the OP. It could be fine, it could be awful. If I had the choice I would wait until the child is able to talk as a previous poster suggested.

gussiegrips Tue 21-May-13 08:19:48

Yep, the could-be-fine-could-be-awful thing is the problem with these diseases. My 2 sons were really neither up nor down with it.

But, why we don't inoculate against a disease which can kill children or make their brains swell up is beyond me.

Our own experience was a bit grim, and DD's got some nasty scarring, but, well, that's only scarring and mostly limited to her torso so it's not going to limit her choices in life at all

But, jeezo, encephalitis? <shudder>

NorthernLurker Tue 21-May-13 08:26:36

I don't know why we don't vaccinate either. Dd3 caught it from a child bought to Sunday school despite having what the teacher diagnosed as a clear case of CP. His doctor mother said 'oh now he's had CP, it isn't that'. I didn't even know she'd been exposed, (nobody told me!)sent her to nursery as usual and was surprosed when she came out in spots. In the next two weeks 25 children came down with it! blush

Frogstomp2299 Tue 21-May-13 08:35:19

I wouldn't purposesly expose my child to it, I have a 10 and 1 yr old, 10 hadn't got it when younger and prob wouldn't have got it if it wasn't for the 1 yr old getting it. But I would say it's a lot easier when they have it as babies, my 10yr really suffered where as my 1 yr old only had the spots.

AmandinePoulain Tue 21-May-13 09:11:49

The reason we don't vaccinate in the uk is because the vaccine doesn't give lifelong protection and coming into contact with chicken pox as an adult is a lot more unpleasant, plus there is a worry that vaccine immunity rather than natural immunity can lead to a higher risk of shingles in the elderly. Or something more scientific! wink

Gumgardener321 Tue 21-May-13 09:27:27

Thanks again for taking the time to give all your views on the matter. I'd never realised how serious CP can be and I've learnt quite a lot from this thread A few of you have made me feel very guilty to even suggest such a thing. Obviously I don't want to make my child ill and suffer in anyway but had heard how it is best for children to get CP early. As he is so young and I don't know that much about the effect I wanted to have other people's views on it which I certainly got though a bit brutal at times.

CoteDAzur Tue 21-May-13 09:29:42

Worry - You shouldn't have given ibuprofen when your DS had chicken pox. It is contraindicated and no doctor would recommend it despite the fever. Same with other non-steroid anti-inflammatories & aspirin.

Had your DS never had ibuprofen before you have it to him while he had CP?

LunaticFringe Tue 21-May-13 09:40:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gussiegrips Tue 21-May-13 11:13:21

Amandine that's really interesting, thanks. Did not know any of that!

OP, I hope I didn't make you feel like I was being brutal. I'm sorry if I did - and, I hope that when you do get the pox in the house that you have a really easy ride of it.

Mind, I also have two kids who had just that!

zipzap Tue 21-May-13 11:20:50

There was a post on here from a mum whose young ds wouldn't wake up when she tried to wake him up - turned out he had chicken pox I seem to remember. Although he only had 3 spots, he had some terrible complications, was in hospital very very poorly for weeks and weeks if not months. She posted an update recently and her ds is now out of hospital I think but still very badly affected.

There's another mum on MN who regularly posts on threads like these who tragically lost her child to chicken pox.

It really, really can be a dreadful disease and well done to you for asking the question on here, regardless of having been told what was 'best' by others, and making your own mind up having listened to the info contained in all the posts on here.

Here's hoping that your nephew recovers quickly and that at some point in the future when you ds invariably does get chicken pox, he only has a very mild attack!

FossilMum Tue 21-May-13 11:23:23

NO NO NO. He is very young. And as others said, at that age he may not get immunity anyway.

There is a vaccine against chickenpox, by the way. It is used routinely in some countries. It may be introduced here sometime in the next few years. If not, he'll have plenty more chances to get it when he's a little bit older and less vulnerable.

5318008 Tue 21-May-13 11:43:04

To be honest when my kids were wee, chicken pox parties were v much the norm, it was seen as a mild illness, best get it over with, astonishing now, adecade or so later. So I can quite see how family/friends with teens would say to mum with a much younger kid 'yeah, no prob, let him get it, job done'

OrlaKiely Tue 21-May-13 11:54:55

HaveAGoAtMe Mon 20-May-13 20:49:35

Gosh it's a good job you're all so experienced and knowledgeable. You must NEVER be/have been unsure about stuff with your first child. I bow down to your superiority.


eh? Surely most of us are here because we struggled first time round and needed advice....and now we're in a position to give that a bad thing? We're only trying to help.

CoteDAzur Tue 21-May-13 11:56:05

Yes, that was very much the case when I was a child in the '70s, as well - sent to chicken pox parties and nobody batted an eyelid when I caught mumps or measles. Twice, no less.

Encephalitis is a very rare complication of chicken pox. And chicken pox is not only harder as we get older but also riskier. So, I would have to say that I would still encourage chicken pox parties. Just not under the age of 1.

MadamNoo Tue 21-May-13 12:02:01

my ds was also hospitalised with cp around 12mo - his eyes were scabby and swollen shut, in utter misery. my oldest ds was immunised as born in US and I never understood why they couldn't be here, as it can be such a horrible illness. didn't know about the possibility of getting later even when immunised.

tilbatilba Tue 21-May-13 12:10:26

Get your baby immunised against chickenpox instead. It's potentially a horrible disease and there is no need to expose your baby to it.

WorrySighWorrySigh Tue 21-May-13 12:25:38

CoteDAzur - DS had chicken pox more than 13 years ago. No MN to ask back then (and an awful lot less internet as well!). No, DS had never had ibuprofen until we gave it to him to bring fever down. We had been giving him calpol with no effect. Where we were and back then you didnt go to the doctor and took advice from friends (hence giving ibuprofen).

We are a lot more aware now than we were back then.

ProudAS Tue 21-May-13 12:48:08

Don't deliberately expose a 7 month old OP as that age group are particularly likely to not develop immunity and catch it a second time.

With older children there is no right or wrong answer. Pox parties have almost certainly prevented more brain damage and complications than they have caused as a healthy child who gets cp is unlikely to get it later on as an adult or when suffering from other health problems. It's not that simple in real life though when you think of the potential danger you are putting your child in.

There's an article here on getting cp twice

breatheslowly Tue 21-May-13 17:49:04

For those asking about where to get the vaccine, DD had it at a private travel clinic in or local town. Google chicken pox vaccine and a location and you can probably find a provider.

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